Niall O’Dowd’s Wrong Call On Mayor De Blasio’s Right Call On St Patrick’s Day Parade

Recently elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken the St Patrick’s Day homophobic bull by the horns and announced that he will not march in this year’s March 17th day parade in protest at the AOH, Catholic Church dominated event’s ban on gay Irish people participating as gays.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio

Hardly had the ink dried on de Blasio’s press statement than a predictably irate Niall O’Dowd, editor of the Irish Voice newspaper and would-be Clinton insider, condemned the new Mayor for not following the precedent set by his predecessor, multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, O’Dowd wrote, would march in the Fifth Avenue parade every year but also made sure he would turn up at a St Patrick’s day march organised by gays in the borough of Queens which took place the weekend before.

As O’Dowd put it: “Everyone got to save face and the Irish parade community never got to feel that Bloomberg was deliberately dissing them.”

A St Patrick's Day celebrant of the AOH-approved variety

A St Patrick’s Day celebrant of the AOH-approved variety

The ban on gays parading down Fifth Avenue has been an open sore in the Irish-American community for many years now and, as O’Dowd rightly concedes, part of the blame for the failure to resolve the dispute was the stubborn refusal of the AOH and the Church to sit down and discuss the matter with Irish gay groups.

Aye, but here’s the rub, Niall. As long as the gays meekly staged their alternative parade on the other side of the East River, well out of sight, and did not challenge the mainstream parade organisers, neither the AOH nor mother Church had any reason or incentive to change their ways.

Now that the mayor has snubbed them perhaps the Catholic diehards will consider changing their outdated and bigoted ways and join the 21st century. Otherwise they are likely to find themselves increasingly marginalised and boycotted.

The same logic applied in a place that Niall O’Dowd knows well, in Northern Ireland. When Nationalists refused to stay uncomplaining in their own ghettos and came out on to the main streets to demand their rights, then and only then did things change for the better. If it was okay for Catholics in Belfast and Derry to do that, Niall, then surely it is also the okay thing for New York’s Irish gays.

None of this seems to have occurred to O’Dowd who blasted the new mayor: “De Blasio has hardly gotten off on a good footing with the Irish American community. He could have chosen the same path Bloomberg did and then worked behind the scenes to resolve this issue. Not that he likely cares about that. This way he gets the splashy headline….”

Before Niall gets too belligerent with de Blasio, he might care to consider whose Senate campaign the new first citizen of New York ran a few years back, someone whose family de Blasio has been friends with for many years, who is widely tipped to be a shoe-in for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President and whose approval and endorsement the Irish Voice editor openly craves. You do remember Hilary don’t you, Niall? Better be careful.

In the meantime well done, Mr Mayor!

8 responses to “Niall O’Dowd’s Wrong Call On Mayor De Blasio’s Right Call On St Patrick’s Day Parade

  1. Touche! funny and smart. I agree with you & De Blasio,,that the Parade should stop marginalizing gays.Some homophobic Irish.need to become inclusive,,charitable, enlightened.–as does the Church .

  2. they should ban drunk plastic paddies who fuc*in disgrace the land of the Gaels first. then ban the sober plastic paddies. then ban the AOH. then ban everybody. Saint Patrick would be sick of this shite now. Pray for Ireland and the world instead.

  3. I’m certainly not an apologist for the 5 th Ave., parade, having marched many times in Brendan’s parade, but part of the issue has to do with signage, banners etc , at least that is the argument put forth by the organizers although that’s likely a front for their prejudices.
    BTW I think a” shoe in” has more to do with Thom Mcann, an Irishman no doubt, , whose sturdy products are necessary for participants in both parades. Hillary might be a “shoo in “though.

  4. Reblogged this on Pippakins Hardly Relevant File (Dustbin to you) and commented:
    Is it that all gays are banned from the St Pats parade or is it that those gays who want to prance in the parade done up as exotic dancers, strippers and heavily mustached leather lads which is the boring norm for most ‘gay’ parades? If that’s what it is then its exactly what’s wrong with some elements of LGBT society. Equality means you have equal rights and keep within the rules agreed by the majority. You know what? I think there will be thousands of LGBT people at the St Pats day parade and they will act, look and be the spirit of the parade not the wet dream of some uneasy exhibitionists out to stamp their jack boots all over anyone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle.

  5. So What is New? Some may agree that it was okay for Catholics in the North to fight for civil rights. But when, over forty years ago, in 1970, a group of activists with the Civil Rights Association came to NY from the North, they were met with the same attitude that the AOH and Niall O’Dowd are espousing now, don’t bring the issue to Fifth Avenue. They had hoped to carry their civil rights banner in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, but were refused by the parade committee. When they tried to march with their banner anyway, they were hauled off to jail, so they got to experience democracy, Irish-American style!
    Those, like Niall O’Dowd, who accuse the mayor of being anti Irish are ignoring the real issue. The parade committee, the AOH and their supporters were and are opposed to civil rights, for people in Ireland four decades ago and for gay rights in 2014. As one of those arrested that day, we would have been grateful for the support of a mayor. We certainly could not have counted on the likes of O’Dowd.
    ——–

  6. The Mayor says he will tolerantly shun the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrate the City’s Irish heritage in other venues. But surely, the Irish-American organizers of these alternative heritage sites will need to help our Mayor. He will need a crash course in what an updated Irish heritage means:
    First, he must forget that Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, and any church teaching stuff, and, of course, the constitutional right of free association.
    Forget the courage it once took to march in that parade when the odd church or convent could go up in smoke.
    Forget those mackerel-snapping, papist harps and the tenacity that made America a bigger place. Forget that ill-starred generation with their morbid memories of dead bodies and grass-stained faces, and all that coffin ship business.
    Forget the immense social capital they had, and those hard to come by pennies that built churches, hospitals, schools and colleges, here.
    Forget how they managed it all, and what more often than not sustained them.
    Forget their sweat, the toil, the railroad ties stretching to Utah and the cavernous holes that became canals. Forget that time when a wry journalist observed that the country was being built by steam, water and Irish power, and the last working hardest of all.
    Forget the blood spilt at the Bloody Lane, that sunken road in Antietam, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance, and that embarrassing moment in Gettysburg when a surviving remnant knelt for general absolution.
    They were a scruffy lot, not at all broad-minded and inclusive like the folks who travel in our tolerant and tony circles. My God! Excuse me, I mean my Gosh, they were so disturbingly Catholic.
    I doubt you’ll have much trouble Mr. Mayor. Challenge the AOH; ask them if they would ever prohibit a banner for Irish lap dancers, or their overpaying customers.
    Our theme: This is the Rites of Spring in another guise! The green fits and should be kept; it will make the transition seamless.
    Sir, the Press is on your side. You’ll face no hard questions, but if you do, you’ll have a catchy reply; it’s been used before. Just say: I know nothing.
    .
    .
    The Governor thinks I’m too extreme for the state, and should leave.
    The Mayor says he will tolerantly shun the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrate the City’s Irish heritage in other venues.
    In Washington, the Administration amends the Affordable Care Act by daily fiat, granting waivers to friends and usurping the legislative role that the Constitution confers upon the Congress.
    The federal government confines religious freedom to what the established church of Secular Humanism will allow, and the Little Sisters of the Poor will just have to pay a tithe like everyone else.
    Loving one’s country once seemed so natural. Now I think Orwell had it right; “He who controls the past controls the future.” He posited a time when government would enforce new meanings for words, and no one would dare notice or protest: War would be peace, freedom slavery, and ignorance strength.
    Still Orwell did not foresee a time when words would lose all meaning without need for any governmental edict. What we and all cultures knew for millennia as marriage now requires an adjective, “traditional” to convey its obsolete meaning. Surely when words lack meaning, laws mean nothing.
    In state after state the wordsmith Humpty Dumpty is on the march, and already reigns in many. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland confronted Humpty in the role of arbitrary semanticist: “When I use a word,” Humpty said “it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”
    Burke saw society as a compact that embraced not only the living, but our ancestors and those who will succeed us. He said, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
    The Irish-American organizers of these alternative heritage sites must help the Mayor in his hour of need. He needs a crash course in what Irish heritage means:
    First, forget that Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. Forget that church teaching stuff, and the constitutional right of free association. The AOH is obsolete; and has no rights. They must become “unpersons.”
    Forget the courage it took to march in that parade when an odd church or convent could go up in smoke.
    Forget those mackerel-snapping, papist harps and their tenacity that made America a bigger place. Forget an ill-starred generation with their morbid memories of dead bodies with grass-stained faces, and that coffin ship business.
    Forget the immense social capital they and all those hard to come by pennies that built churches, hospitals, schools and colleges.
    Forget how they managed it all, and what sustained them.
    Forget the sweat, the toil, railroad ties stretching to Utah and cavernous holes that became canals, when a wry journalist observed that the country was being built by steam water and Irish power, with the last working hardest of all.
    Forget blood spilt at the Bloody Lane, that sunken road in Antietam, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance, and that embarrassing moment in Gettysburg when their surviving remnant knelt to receive general absolution.
    They were a scruffy lot, not at all broad-minded and inclusive like the folks who travel in our tolerant and tony circles. My God! Excuse me, my Gosh, they were so disturbingly Catholic.
    I doubt you’ll have much trouble Mr. Mayor. Challenge the AOH ask them if they would ever prohibit a banner for Irish lap dancers, not to mention their overpaying customers.
    Ask them: What is the past to you? What has posterity ever done for you?
    Tell them it’s all about the Rites of Spring! The green should make the transition seamless.
    Sir, the Press is on your side. You’ll face no hard questions, but in any event you’ll have a catchy reply: Just say: I know nothing.
    .
    . “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely,” so said Edmund Burke. Lately, these words prey upon my mind.
    The Governor thinks I’m too extreme for the state, and should leave.
    The Mayor says he will tolerantly shun the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrate the City’s Irish heritage in other venues.
    In Washington, the Administration amends the Affordable Care Act by daily fiat, granting waivers to friends and usurping the legislative role that the Constitution confers upon the Congress.
    The federal government confines religious freedom to what the established church of Secular Humanism will allow, and the Little Sisters of the Poor will just have to pay a tithe like everyone else.
    Loving one’s country once seemed so natural. Now I think Orwell had it right; “He who controls the past controls the future.” He posited a time when government would enforce new meanings for words, and no one would dare notice or protest: War would be peace, freedom slavery, and ignorance strength.
    Still Orwell did not foresee a time when words would lose all meaning without need for any governmental edict. What we and all cultures knew for millennia as marriage now requires an adjective, “traditional” to convey its obsolete meaning. Surely when words lack meaning, laws mean nothing.
    In state after state the wordsmith Humpty Dumpty is on the march, and already reigns in many. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland confronted Humpty in the role of arbitrary semanticist: “When I use a word,” Humpty said “it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”
    Burke saw society as a compact that embraced not only the living, but our ancestors and those who will succeed us. He said, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
    The Irish-American organizers of these alternative heritage sites must help the Mayor in his hour of need. He needs a crash course in what Irish heritage means:
    First, forget that Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. Forget that church teaching stuff, and the constitutional right of free association. The AOH is obsolete; and has no rights. They must become “unpersons.”
    Forget the courage it took to march in that parade when an odd church or convent could go up in smoke.
    Forget those mackerel-snapping, papist harps and their tenacity that made America a bigger place. Forget an ill-starred generation with their morbid memories of dead bodies with grass-stained faces, and that coffin ship business.
    Forget the immense social capital they and all those hard to come by pennies that built churches, hospitals, schools and colleges.
    Forget how they managed it all, and what sustained them.
    Forget the sweat, the toil, railroad ties stretching to Utah and cavernous holes that became canals, when a wry journalist observed that the country was being built by steam water and Irish power, with the last working hardest of all.
    Forget blood spilt at the Bloody Lane, that sunken road in Antietam, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance, and that embarrassing moment in Gettysburg when their surviving remnant knelt to receive general absolution.
    They were a scruffy lot, not at all broad-minded and inclusive like the folks who travel in our tolerant and tony circles. My God! Excuse me, my Gosh, they were so disturbingly Catholic.
    I doubt you’ll have much trouble Mr. Mayor. Challenge the AOH ask them if they would ever prohibit a banner for Irish lap dancers, not to mention their overpaying customers.
    Ask them: What is the past to you? What has posterity ever done for you?
    Tell them it’s all about the Rites of Spring! The green should make the transition seamless.
    Sir, the Press is on your side. You’ll face no hard questions, but in any event you’ll have a catchy reply: Just say: I know nothing.
    .
    .

  7. Sorry a sticky key. My edits did not come out. The old and new version went in.

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